I Did It!

I have no photo to prove it, but this morning I got my courage up and took a short drive in the snow. There wasn’t much snow on the ground and some of it was melting, but I think it still counts as driving in the snow. I drove to Gøta, the next town over the mountain, to buy fuel for my car. The fuel guage was sitting right on “empty” or just above, depending on whether I was driving up hill or down hill, and I wanted to be sure I had enough fuel to drive the 6 or 7 km to the nearest service station. Since we don’t have snow in San Francisco, I have been quite apprehensive about driving in the snow. According to the weather forecast, I will have plenty of opportunities this week, since it is supposed to be snowing nearly all the time from now through Wednesday, which is as far as the forecast shows.

The weather changes so quickly here! It was sunny when I drove to Gøta, and now snow is blowing horizontally past my window, and I can’t see across the bay.

Learning Faroese

The last time that I studied a foreign language was 40 years ago in college, when I took Latin and German at the same time, along with a linguistics class. That was a challenge. However, learning Faroese is even more of a challenge. It seems to be two steps forward and one step back, and I am learning words only slightly faster than I am forgetting them. My dictionaries get a lot of use.

Here are the books (in the picture) that I use:

An Introduction to Modern Faroese, by W.B. Lockwood, 1977
I confess that I bought this book in 1997, but didn’t read very much of it. I got stuck on the section that told how to pronounce Faroese words, written by someone from Britain, when I don’t know how the British pronounce the words. However, it is a nice small book that fits in my purse, and I took it with me to lunch at the shopping center in Tórshavn today.

Faroese, An Overview and Reference Grammar by Thráinsson, Petersen, Jacobsen, and Hansen, 2004.
This was the text for the class I took in Tórshavn in August. I have worked my way through about one third of the book. I often use it as a reference.

Ensk-føroysk orðabók (aka English-Faroese Dictionary)
This book gets a lot of use.

Føroysk-Ensk Orðabók — Faroese-English Dictionary
This one also sees constant use.

Føroysk Orðabók (Faroese Dictionary)
I use this book all of the time. It has tables in the back with all of the noun declinsions, verb conjugations, and adjective declinsions. For nouns there are 4 cases (singular and plural) with 53 sets of masculine declinsions, 34 sets of feminine declinsions, and 34 sets of neuter declinsions. For verbs there are 82 different tables of conjugations. Adjectives are most complicated with 39 sets of declinsions, each having endings for the three genders with 4 cases each in singular and plural. That means that an adjective can have 24 different forms.

The other three books in the picture are children’s books that I read in English, and they have been translated into Faroese.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, by J.K. Rowling
I finished reading this one a few days ago.

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis
I read this book first, with my dictionary close at hand. Then I read it again to see if I had learned anything. The second time through I didn’t need to look up nearly as many words.

The Magician’s Nephew, also by C.S. Lewis
I have finished the first chapter of this one.

Signs of Spring

There are a few signs of spring in the gardens in Fuglafjørður – the same signs I would see in gardens in California (if I were there). Little purple and yellow crocus (should it be crocuses?) are just starting to open in a few gardens. A few trees and shrubs have new bright green leaves showing at the ends of branches. We have had lovely spring-like weather, but I have been assured that there is lots of winter weather still to come.

Another sign of spring is in the column to the right, listed under “Sunrise and Sunset.” Today the sun was up for 8 1/2 hours. This may not be exciting for you, but I think it is wonderful.

This is the time of year that the northern lights may be seen in the night sky. A couple of nights ago I saw a pale-green banner of light beyond the mountains to the north. I hope sometime this winter to be able to take a picture of the northern lights. Wish me luck!

Sightseeing in Eysturoy

The sun was shining and the weather was nice when I woke up this morning, so I decided to do some sightseeing. By the time I had finished breakfast the sun was no longer shining, so I put off the sightseeing and did some shopping first.

This afternoon I drove around the northern part of Eysturoy, the island where I am living. Some of these places I have photographed many times, so you may have already seen similar pictures, but these photos are all new ones, from today. The town of Funningur is surrounded by high mountains, and in fact, it is at the foot of the tallest mountain in the Faroes. Today, the top of Mount Slættaratindur (882 meters) was in the clouds. All of the roads in this part of the island have just one lane, with periodic turn outs for passing other cars. The road from Funningur going toward Eiði zigzags up the side of the mountain, with very steep hills or cliffs on one side of the road.

Eiði is the town where I stayed on my very first trip to the Faroe Islands. Somewhere on the hillside in the picture of the Eiði church, you can sort of see the hotel where I stayed. The Faroese have names for all of the large rocks around the islands. The two rocks to the north of Eiði – Risin and Kellingin – are part of an old tale about a giant and a witch who tried to tow the Faroe Islands to Iceland, but they were turned to stone by the rising sun. (I may not have this story exactly right – sorry.)

The islands of Eysturoy and Streymoy are quite close together, and the bridge between the two islands is not very long.

Ship and Boats in Fuglafjørður

With my little house sitting on the edge of the bay right across from the docks, I am always aware of ships and boats moving into, out of, and around the Fuglafjørður bay. Most of these pictures were taken from my house, and a few were taken on my regular walk to town. I decided that the ships at the dock looked too small from my side of the bay, so I drove over there and walked up and down the docks (in the rain) to take some close-up photos of the ships.

I realized, when I was working on these photos, that I don’t have a very large vocabulary when it comes to sea-going vessels. You can see that I am limited to calling them “ships” or “boats.” I grew up near the San Francisco Bay, and I recognize oil tankers, container ships, passenger ships, ferries, barges, and sail boats, since I saw these quite often. (The sail boats there were pleasure boats, not working boats.) With the exception of one ferry (with no passengers) and a few small boats with sails, I haven’t seen any of the ones that I recognize here in Fuglafjørður. I don’t know the names for all of the different kinds of fishing vessels. My little book of Faroese phrases with English translations has two pages with Faroese words for different boats and ships. However, I left my little book in my basement in America, so I couldn’t use it for this photo album.

So, here are pictures of a variety of unidentified ships and boats, all of them here in Fuglafjørður.

An Afterthought

Here are a few pictures I wish I had included with earlier photo albums. I think the picture of fish drying on the clothesline should have been included in my Drying Clothes entry. In early January I tried to show you a Faroese storm. Another way to show the power of the storms is to show what we do to keep things from blowing away – holding things down with rocks and concrete blocks.

A Busy Weekend

I had a busy weekend, which included the following events: a birthday party for a 50 year old woman, lunch with a cousin in Tórshavn, a choir concert in Tórshavn, a party honoring the 75 year old choir director, and a birthday party for a 1 year old girl. I like these three pictures of the younger generation.

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